Biotech association connects with 'Eleventh Hour' drama audience

WASHINGTON: Biotechnology trade association BIO is using interest around CBS' new Eleventh Hour drama to tackle misinterpretations about its industry.

WASHINGTON: Biotechnology trade association BIO is using interest around CBS' new Eleventh Hour drama to tackle misinterpretations about its industry.

 

The Washington, DC-based group launched an interactive Web site, eleventhhourfacts.com, on October 15 to educate the public. The site is a new element to BIO's multi-year effort that began in June with a SMT to raise awareness about biotechnology with media, investors, industry, healthcare professionals, and the public, said Jeff Joseph, VP of communications for BIO.

 

After hearing about the CBS show in September, Joseph said BIO saw Eleventh Hour as an educational opportunity that “could leverage the program to share the benefits of the biotechnology.”

 

Each week, the site is updated with facts about the show's topic. It also features real time blogging while the show is on the air and an online Q&A after it ends.

 

Brodeur Partners, hired in May for the initiative, is providing support for the two- to three-year effort, said Jerry Johnson, EVP of strategic planning for the agency's Washington office.

 

The first four months of the campaign were used as a test period to evaluate which aspects of the effort were successful, Joseph said. Budget information was not available, but he noted the overall effort will focus on new media strategies to counter costs.

 

Eleventh Hour is one of the first TV shows to focus on the industry, except for a few episodes of CSI or The X-Files, he added.

 

“We're not here to comment on the program,” he added. “We're using it as an opportunity to make sure that consumers have the right message about biotech.”

 

When asked for comment, a CBS spokesperson released a statement to PRWeek: "We think it's great that BIO is following Eleventh Hour so closely. The series prides itself on being based in science fact and the very real possibilities of today's scientific advancements."

 

A traditional media tour led by BIO president Jim Greenwood; and a media information session called Bio 101 was also held this summer. Another site, www.iambiotech.org, aimed at industry professionals, launched in mid-August, and allows professionals to discuss their work in the field, and comment on biotech stories in the media.

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